While visiting Sunshine Sewing and Quilting in Margate, Florida, I had an opportunity to review the new Janome M7050, a lightweight, affordable fully computerized sewing and quilting machine.
At A Glance
The Janome M7050 is identical to the M7200 with two very distinct differences. First of all, the most obvious difference is the color on the column. The column on the M7200 is purple while it is bright green on the M7050.
The most significant difference, however, is not the color, but the number of stitches available on these two machines. The M 7050 offers only 50 decorative and utility stitches while the M7200 comes with 200 on board stitch options. In addition, the M7200 has the capacity to store stitch settings and combinations in its memory and to clear them when they are no longer needed by the user.
Each of these machines is equipped with an LCD backlit window which displays stitch number, stitch length and width settings and an image of the correct presser foot to use for the selected stitch. On the column, there are three rows of buttons that are used to make stitch selections; automatically tie off and cut thread with each stop; and adjust stitch length and width.
There is also a series of function buttons above the needle and on the machine head: start/stop; reverse stitch; stitch design stop; mirror stitch; thread tie off and cut; and a speed control slider. The Janome M7200 and M7050 also have dials at the top left corner to adjust the presser foot height and a manual tension control dial above the needle.
In comparison, the M7200 has three additional buttons on its column – memory store; clear memory; and stitch mode selection. There is also a series of three tiny lights to indicate the mode selection on the column of the M7200 that is not found on the M7050.
Beneath the needle is a large needle plate with seam guides and a clear cover for the drop-in bobbin and an on board accessory case. The drop feed control is located behind the arm. Both the M7050 and the M7200 come with an extension table that can be attached to the machine when the accessory case is removed.
It should be noted here that the drop feed control is accessible while the accessory case is attached, but not so easily when the extension table is in place.
There is also an on-board stitch selection guide which can be folded behind the machine head when it is necessary to store or transport the machine in the standard hard cover. This is a major advantage because the risk of losing the stitch selection guide is greatly reduced since it is not necessary to remove it when it is not in use.
- Horizontal rotary hook
- 50 built-in stitches
- 3 one-step buttonholes
- Manual tension control
- On board needle threader
- Needle up/down [down as default setting]
- 7-piece feed dog
- Free arm
- Drop feed
- Start/stop button
- Locking stitch button
- Automatic thread cutter
- Easy reverse button
- Extra high presser foot lift
- Backlit LCD screen
Working on the Janome M7050
The numerical threading guide is possibly the most user-friendly threading guide available on any sewing machine. The process for winding the bobbin and securely putting it in place is quite easy providing the user follows the on-board guides.
After the Janome M7050 is threaded and the bobbin is securely in place, the only thing left to do is to select the desired stitch and sew. Unlike the M7200, it is not necessary to go through the steps of identifying and selecting a mode. With only 50 utility and decorative stitches from which to choose, the M7050 is even less complicated and more user-friendly than its counterpart with 200 stitch options.
The good news is even though the Janome M7050 has fewer standard features, it is just as sturdy and solidly built as the M7200. During this review, I tested several of the available stitches and was pleased to discover that each stitch was perfectly formed, even and secure. There is almost no noise at all when sewing even at the highest speed setting and absolutely no vibration whatsoever.
- Natural fibers/cotton-linen-wool
- Fine fabrics/silk-satin-taffeta/velvet
- Synthetic fabrics/blends-rayon-polyester
- Reptile skin
- Extra thick fabrics or multiple layers
- 8 Snap-on presser feet
- ¼ ” Seam Foot
- Automatic buttonhole foot
- Blind hem
- Even feed foot
- Overedge foot
- Satin stitch foot
- Zigzag foot
- Zipper foot
- 3-Way cording foot
- Applique foot
- Beading foot set
- Binder foot
- Blind hem foot
- Closed toe darning foot
- Concealed zipper foot
- Convertible even feed foot
- Convertible freemotion quilting foot set
- Open toe darning foot
- Ditch quilting foot
- Edge guide foot
- Free motion quilting foot low shank
- Fringing foot
- Gathering foot
- Open toe satin stitch foot
- Overedge foot
- Pintucking foot
- Piping foot
- Rolled hem foot
- Roller foot
- Rotary even foot
- Satin stitch foot open toe
- Sliding buttonhole foot
- Open toe darning foot [low shank]
- Ultraglide foot
- Zipper foot [screw on]
- Straight stitch foot
- Border guide foot
- Button sewing foot
- Buttonhole foot
- Ribbon / sequin foot
- Bobbin holder for free motion quilting
- Buttonhole stabilizer plate
- Circular sewing attachment
- Extra large foot controller
- Flower stitching attachment
- Free motion quilting low shank
- Hemmer feet set
- Horizontal spool holder
- Needle threader
- Open toe with quilting guide
- Pintucking cord guide
- Quilting attachment kit
- Quilting guide
- Ready-to-quilt training panels by Patternjam
- Ribbon sewing guide
- 9 Piece scissor kit
- Seam ripper
- Sliding guide foot – 7mm models
- Spool stand
- Straight stitch needle plate
|After each use||Monthly*||Once Each Year**||As Needed|
|Clean race hook and feed dogs|
|Wipe head with soft dry cloth|
|Wipe head with soft damp cloth|
|Service by sewing machine repair professional|
Tying Off The Loose Ends
While the Janome M7050 is very much like the M7200, the differences are significant enough that I am comfortable recommending the use of this machine by children in elementary school. I withheld that recommendation for the M7200 because of the mere step of identifying and choosing the mode prior to making a stitch selection.
This one additional step is, in my opinion, enough to frustrate a younger child or even an adult who may be intimidated by having to remember to follow a series of unnecessary steps in order to accomplish a basic task.
Like the Janome M7200, the M7050 is quite affordable. In fact, with an MSRP of just $799, I believe it is the least costly brand new sewing and quilting machine I have seen for sale by an authorized Janome dealer. The fact that it is so well built is definitely an advantage.
Although I do am not enthusiastic about the placement of the drop feed control, I am willing to concede that placing it behind the workspace is a smart move, all things considered. Since the accessory case is mounted on the front only, the drop feed control is accessible by reaching behind the needle. However, if the extension table is in use, getting to this lever is far more challenging.
The Janome M7050 is an ideal choice for almost any sewing student who is at least six or seven years of age. A child as young as six could easily learn to master the operating of the M7050 with close supervision of an adult. An older student would be very comfortable learning the basics of sewing machine operation on this uncomplicated, user-friendly machine.
Weighing in at just a little over 14 pounds, the Janome M7050 is perfect for taking to sewing class. It can be an excellent travel companion for anyone who likes to take their hobby on vacation or for an extended stay with friends or family.
While the Janome M7200 offers more in terms of standard features and stitch options, there is a definite place for the M7050. Depending upon the user’s specific sewing interest and their prospects for future sewing projects, the M7050 could be perfect fit for the advanced home sewer who does not require a lot in terms of stitch options and a stitch memory.
In reality, the Janome M7050 is nothing more than a basic sewing machine… one that gets the job done and does it well. Not only is it a sturdy, well-built workhorse, it is whisper quiet and runs smoothly, even when sewing at the highest speed setting.
One thing I noticed in the owner’s manual of both the M7200 and the M7050 is a section which helps the user correct ‘deformed’ stitches. The user is advised to use the screwdriver to adjust a screw that is situated beneath the accessory case. While I did not encounter any problems with stitch formation during this review, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the manufacturer is proactive about problems that may arise once the machine is in a real home sewing situation.
Bearing in mind that almost all sewing machines work perfectly when they are first put into use in any home setting, I think the fact that the folks at Janome are taking steps up front to help users if and when problems arise is a good thing. Far too often, manufacturers put products on the market fully aware of potential performance flaws without attempting to take any steps to help the end user in the event a problem occurs.
If you are in the market for a dependable sewing machine that doesn’t have a lot of non-essential bells and whistles for yourself or to give to someone as a gift, the Janome M7050 might be the solution you are looking for. Before making a final decision as to which machine to purchase, you owe it to yourself to set aside an afternoon to visit an authorized Janome dealer in your area.
Ask for a demonstration of both the Janome M7200 and the M7050. Compare the two machines side by side and see for yourself if one of these lightweight, affordable machines fits your personal sewing needs.
- Needs lots of help – able to sew a straight seam but unfamiliar with most sewing techniques; needs assistance and instruction on basic sewing techniques.
- Competent – can make different clothing items without assistance or guidance, but not good enough to sew intricate projects or to sew without a pattern.
- Expert – can sew anything without instruction or assistance; possesses an expansive knowledge of sewing techniques and terminology.
- Good option for beginners
- Solid construction
- Limited stitch options